Obesity and Overweight: Difference, Facts and Diet

Although there are many options to treat obesity but for this you should be aware of the facts and causes of obesity. In this article Dietitian Veena Kumari gives you all the necessary facts of rapidly affecting disease - Obesity.

Obesity and Overweight: Difference, Facts and Diet

At least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. It is a state of excess accumulation of fat in the body. It leads to adversee metabolic effects on blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin resistance.

Obese people are more prone to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases & cancer.

Facts about obesity

  • In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight. Of these over 650 million adults were obese.
  • In 2016, 39% of adults aged 18 years and over (39% of men and 40% of women) were overweight.
  • Overall, about 13% of world adults’ population (11% of men and 15% women) were obese in 2016.
  • The world wide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1945 & 2016.
  • Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obsess in 2016.

What are obesity and overweight?

Obesity is a state of excess accumulation of fat in the body.

Overweight refers to persons with body weight 10-20 % in excess of the ideal weight.

Body mass index (BMI) is a person’s weight in Kilogram divided by the square of height in meters. This is a measure of the relative body fatness to evaluate risk factors associated with obesity.

WHO classification of BMI (KG/Meter sq.)

Category WHO 2004
< 18.5

Causes of obesity: Obesity is a complex condition which could trigger from a variety of reasons.


  1. Consuming too many calories: Foods that tend to increase the risk of weight gain includes:
    • Fast food
    • Fried foods, such as french fries
    • Fatty and processed meats
    • Many dairy product
    • Foods with added sugar such as baked goods ready-made breakfast cereals and cookies
    • Foods containing hidden sugars, such as ketchup and many other canned and packaged food items
    • Sweetened juice, sodas and alcoholic drinks
    • Processed high carb foods, such as bread and bagels
    • When a person’s consume more calories than they use as energy,their body will store the extra calories as fat. This can lead to excess weight and obesity.
  1. Leading a sedentary lifestyle: Obesity is found in persons who lead sedentary lives and pay less importance to physical education. Though obesity can occur at any age, this is more common during middle age when physical activity decrease without corresponding decrease in food consumption.
    • School children who spend too much time in playing games on a computer instead of doing physical activities outside.
  1. Not sleeping enough: Research has suggested that missing sleep increase the risk of gaining weight and developing obesity.

    When a person do not sleep enough their body produces ghrelin, a harmone that stimulates appetite. At the same time, a lack of sleep also results in the lower production of leptin, a hormone that supresses the appetite.

  1. Medication and weight gain: Some medication can also lead to weight gain over a period of months.
    • Atypical antipsychotics, especially olanzapine, quetiapine and
    • Anticonvulsants and mood stabilizers, and specifically gabapentin.
    • Hypoglycemic medication such as Tolbutamide.
    • Glucocorticoids used to treatt rheumatoid arthritis
    • Some anti-depressants
  1. Genetics: Genetics inheritance influences a person's chance of becoming obese. Obesity, therefore, runs infamilies and the chances of obesity in a child increase if both parents are

Diet in Obesity

  1. Use whole grains cereals like bajra,maize, &jowar.A whole grain manages to retain all the nutrients that are processed in the refining.
  1. Just like grains,whole grains are also a better than washed grains.
  1. Avoid red meat & opt for lean meat like chicken & Salmon.Adding protein with every meal could prove to be a game changer for anyone trying to lose weight.
  1. Load up on seasonal vegetables & fruits.They provide both soluble & insoluble fibres in addition to vitamins, minerals antioxidants.
  1. Stay away from trans-fat as they are one of the biggest culprits of growing instances of obesity globally.
  1. Sugar intake should be less than 10% of your total calories, for a normal women who needs 1900 kcal/day. This is about 10-11 teaspoons of sugar. A lot of foods have natural sugar hidden in them too, so one has to be mindful of that as well.
  1. Do not skip any meals.
  1. Drink plenty of water.

About The Author

Veena Kumari

Veena Kumari is a Senior Dietitian. Currently she is working as a senior consultant Dietitian. She has an overall experience of 6 years- 2 years in Body Care, 2 years in Metro H.. Read More..


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